Quinta Mimosa Chocolate Cake

Quinta Mimosa Chocolate Cake – the Perfect Post Yoga Treat

One of our favourite brunch recipes from the Quinta Mimosa (Portugal) kitchen.  Thanks to Wendy for this GORGEOUS chocolate cake which contains NO WHEAT but ACRES OF CHOCOLATE and is best served with fresh fruit & crème fraîche or alternatively lashings of cream/ice cream/chocolate sauce – well, why not?  After an invigorating morning class of backbends, holiday guests were very appreciative of this healthy-ish treat.  Enjoy.

200 gms butter

1 cup sugar (white or brown or mixed)

400 gms dark chocolate

grated peel of 1 orange

half cup of coarsely chopped hazlenuts

2 tbsp finely ground hazlenuts (you can also use walnuts, almonds or chopped cherries or a combination)

6 eggs whisked together

Set over to 150°c.  Line a 12″ (approx) tin with greaseproof paper.

Melt butter, sugar and chocolate and stir in the orange.  Leave to cool for 5 mins.

Add chopped and ground nuts and eggs.  Whisk well.

Pour into tin and cook for 12 mins.  The cake will puff up high and the surface will crack.

To test if cooked (other than eating it), insert a sker and it should come out clean.

Eat and enjoy!

“Yoga is About the Now”

“Yoga is About the Now” – A Masterclass with Manouso Manos

Article from the San Francisco Yoga Conference Blog

“Yoga is about the now,” said Manouso Manos, one of the most senior teachers in the lineage of renowned master B.K.S. Iyengar. Of course, Manouso said, there are lots of more immediate reasons we practice—to clear our minds and to recover from injuries, for instance. But underneath all these is the attempt to still what the Indians call the “monkey mind,” our tendency to skp ahead to the future or look back into the past—indeed, to do anything but remain simply absorbed in the present.

Like Mr. Iyengar himself in his recent teachings, Manouso consistently reminded us to look through the lens of physical practice toward this larger, deeper perspective. Skillful action in asana, he said, is attained when we accomplish this absorption into the present. In a way, our task in yoga practice is to allow the pose instructions, whether they come from our teachers or our memories of past classes, to bypass the brain and go straight into the body, creating this absorption.

Yet, paradoxically, it is the minutiae of instruction which helps us do that, as Manouso’s class so amply demonstrated. When we successfully implement the details of alignment and action which Iyengar has spent decades exploring and articulating, our bodies attain an ease even in the midst of work; they’re no longer clamoring for attention. At the same time, the mind is completely engaged, unwaveringly absorbed into creating the form of the pose.

Here’s how this worked in Manouso’s instructions for Ustrasana (Camel Pose). First, he instructed us to bring the knees directly under the hip sockets or even narrower, and the shins the same distance apart. He had us try the pose with the knees slightly wider, the width most student naturally adopt, and notice that doing so instantly created shortening and compression in the lower back—a compression that is both a distraction and a danger. Next, he had us push down extremely strongly at the base of the shin, as though we could flatten the bone into the mat; reach back with both hands to the tops of the heels; take the head back; and lift the outer upper wall of the chest. He had us try a common, supposedly easier and safer modification of the pose—coming up onto flexed toes rather than onto the tops of the feet—so that we could experience for ourselves that this variation in fact again creates potentially harmful compression in the lower back.Then, once we had come into the basic shape of the pose with these actions, he had us the broaden across the very tops of the hamstrings, bringing the outer upper hamstrings forward, and move the middle portion of the coccyx back. Again, he asked us to check into our experience, and almost all of us reported these actions had given us a sense of freedom and ease in the lower back and allowed us to lift higher in the midback and chest.

This kind of detail ran through Manouso’s instructions throughout the practice. After the classic invocation to Patanjali, we began with standing poses. “Standing poses give you the best odds in the house,” Manouso joked. “They provide the highest ratio of benefit to danger.”

We practiced Tadasana/Samasthithi (Mountain Pose/Equal Standing), Utthita Trikonsasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose), and Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I); briefly rested the thighs in a Virasana variation (Hero Pose variation) with the feet together; moved on to Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II) and another brief rest in the Virasana variation; then finished standing poses with Prasarita Padottanasana (Intense Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend) to prepare for Salamba Sirsasana I (Headstand). After Headstand came Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), Ustrasana, another Downward Dog, Paschimottanasana (Intense Seated Forward Bend), Bharadvajasana I (Bharadvajasa’s Twist I), and Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose).

Manouso reminded us that every pose should not be practiced in exactly the same way every time; the same pose can be practiced with different foci to create different effects. Manouso taught our first Downward Dog to wake up the legs for Ustrasana, but the second Downward Dog to counteract any compression Ustrasana might have created in our lower backs.

He also reminded us that, while we tend to desire a static, final form for our poses when we come into them, they should always be a process. According to Manouso, Iyengar’s famous dictum that today’s maximum in practice should be tomorrow’s minimum does NOT simply refer to the physical depth we go to in a pose. Much more importantly, it refers to the constant necessity for us to relinquish the preconception we have of ourselves and our capacities we must go beyond our preconceptions to become absorbed in the truth of our experience—right here in the NOW.

Inspirational Quotes

“Asanas penetrate deep into each layer of the body and ultimately into the consciousness itself.” — B.K.S. IYENGAR

Here are some more of our favourite quotes and phrases.  Scroll down for a further collection of inspirational quotes from BKS Iyengar himself.

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” Donna Farhi

“Strive to achieve whatever you think you cannot for it is on the path toward your impossible dream that you will find what you truly seek.”

“When you are preoccupied with end results you pull yourself from the present into an imagined, usually fearful future. Then your anxiety robs your energy, and making matters worse, you lapse into inaction and laziness.” On fear: Bhagavad Gita – Krishna counsels Arjuna

Sometimes we get despondent with our lack of ability in Hatha Yoga practice and that can lead to apathy and negativity. Here is a quote from spiritual mentor, Edgar Cayce to give a little perspective on that negative process our minds take us on when we think we’re not achieving our potential:

“There is progress whether ye are going forward or backward! The thing is to move!”

 


“People become what they expect themselves to become.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Nature, in all its functions, is remarkably purposeful. Who then, could possibly imagine that he or she was born into this world for no purpose?”

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

Jimi Hendrix

Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.

Voltaire

BKS Iyengar

BKS Iyengar

 

 

Here are some famous quotes from the great master of yoga, BKS Iyengar, who has dedicated the last 70 years of his life to the study and practise of yoga and to making this wonderful art, science and philosophy accessible to all people.

“The beauty of a lake reflects the beauty around it. When the mind is still, the beauty of the Self is seen reflected in it.”

 

 

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Intelligence, like money, is a good servant but a bad master. When practicing pranayama, the yogi [makes] himself humble and without pride in his intellectual attainments.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the Inward Journey to discover it.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Quotes from his autobiography, Light on Life:

“The practice of yogasana for the sake of health, to keep fit, or to maintain flexibility is the external practice of yoga. While this is a legitimate place to begin, it is not the end… Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest, which brings firmness of the body; the internal quest, which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost quest, which brings benevolence of spirit.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Often, we hear people saying they remain active and light when they do just a little bit of asana practice. When a raw beginner experiences this state of well-being, it is not merely the external or anatomical effects of yoga. It is also about the internal physiological and psychological effects of the practice.”

Quotes from BKS Iyengar

BKS Iyengar
BKS Iyengar

Here are some famous quotes from the great master of yoga, BKS Iyengar, who has dedicated his life to the study and practise of yoga and to making this wonderful art, science and philosophy accessible to all people.

“The beauty of a lake reflects the beauty around it.  When the mind is still, the beauty of the Self is seen reflected in it.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Intellectuals tend to be arrogant. Intelligence, like money, is a good servant but a bad master. When practicing pranayama, the yogi [makes] himself humble and without pride in his intellectual attainments.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the Inward Journey to discover it.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Quotes from his autobiography, Light on Life:

“The practice of yogasana for the sake of health, to keep fit, or to maintain flexibility is the external practice of yoga. While this is a legitimate place to begin, it is not the end… Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest, which brings firmness of the body; the internal quest, which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost quest, which brings benevolence of spirit.”

♥♥♥♥♥♥

“Often, we hear people saying they remain active and light when they do just a little bit of asana practice. When a raw beginner experiences this state of well-being, it is not merely the external or anatomical effects of yoga. It is also about the internal physiological and psychological effects of the practice.”